Do you yearn for stunning window furnishings? You probably have several questions running through your head that may be stopping you dead in your tracks. How much light do we need, what style of curtaining is suitable, and how do we use the room effectively?
Whatever you select will greatly influence the overall ambience of your room. Curtains provide a finish and warmness that a bare window will not. An abundance of fabric choices, rod, ring, pelmet and tie back decisions need to be made. Curtains are a big expense, so if you choose wisely and get them made with care, they should last well past the next design fad.
Here is a little practical advice on different styles and positioning that will make for happy décor.
The most interesting windows are the hardest to dress.
This soft, elegant fabric framing this fireplace draws your eye to the loveliness of the outdoors, without detracting from the chalet style windows.
The powder blue paint used on the ceiling is thoughtfully matched to the header and edging trim on the curtains.
Photo courtesy Tobi Fairley Design
Consider your view.
Decide whether to dress your windows to enhance the view or hide it.
Use a patterned or more luxurious fabric to distract from an unkind view.
Sitting a sheer curtain behind lets the dappled summer light in, while protecting your furniture.
Ask for the biggest sample of fabric you can get and hang it in the room for a few days to get the right idea.
Photo courtesy Greg Natale Design
Think carefully when choosing your curtain hardware. Rods, rings and tiebacks are like handbags and shoes in the decorating world.
Finishes come in antique bronze, chrome, lucite and bamboo, just to mention a few.
Linking the finish to another metal in the room is a smart place to start.
Check with your curtain maker that the rod you choose will take the weight of the curtains.
Tieback hooks are usually positioned two-thirds of the way down the window.
Photo courtesy Gretchen Everett Hardware
Pelmets can solve a multitude of problems. They come in two types, soft and hard.
A hard pelmet is when fabric is fitted onto ply board. A soft pelmet, also called a valance is usually pleated.
This hard pelmet is installed just under the cornice, giving it a shadow line. The track then sits under the pelmet.
The strong geometric shapes used in the metal window framing harmonise with the contrasting edging on the pelmet and curtains.
Photo courtesy Burnham Design
Headings for rod and ring curtains are numerous and can affect the style and how the curtain hangs. Terms such as pinch, french, flemish and inverted box pleats are tossed about, causing a feeling of slight nausea for many renovators.
Unless you are going for the elaborate, formal treatment, with swags and tails, keep the header classic like the pinch pleat in this bedroom.
If you have the room always position the rod at least 15-20cm above the window. This helps keep the morning light out and makes the windows look larger than they are.
Photo courtesy Jeffers Design Group.
Bay, or bow windows require a little more attention when furnishing.
If you have a spot that doesn’t need protection from sunlight, a fixed curtain like this gives balance and interest.
A flexi track is fitted behind this curtain, keeping exposure to a minimum. Flexi tracks are also available if you want to use a pelmet.
What a lovely softness and harmony this space creates, enticing me to kick back with a good book.
Photo courtesy SV Design